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In
genealogy Genealogy (from el, γενεαλογία ' "study of family trees") is the study of , family history, and the tracing of their lineages. Genealogists use oral interviews, historical records, genetic analysis, and other records to obtain inform ...

genealogy
, the progenitor (rarer: primogenitor; german: Stammvater or ''Ahnherr'') is the – sometimes legendary – founder of a
family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the well-being of its members and of society. Ideally, families would off ...

family
,
line of descent In anthropology, kinship is the web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of all humans in all societies, although its exact meanings even within this discipline are often debated. Anthropologist Robin Fox states tha ...

line of descent
,
clan A clan is a group of people united by actual or perceived kinship In anthropology, kinship is the web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of all humans in all societies, although its exact meanings even with ...

clan
or
tribe The term tribe is used in many different contexts to refer to a category of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intellig ...

tribe
, noble house, or
ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups. Those attributes can include common sets of traditions, ancest ...
.. Ebenda
''Ahnherr:''
"Stammvater eines Geschlechts".
Genealogy Genealogy (from el, γενεαλογία ' "study of family trees") is the study of , family history, and the tracing of their lineages. Genealogists use oral interviews, historical records, genetic analysis, and other records to obtain inform ...

Genealogy
(commonly known as family history) understands a progenitor to be the earliest
recorded
recorded
ancestor An ancestor, also known as a forefather, fore-elder or a forebear, is a parent A parent is a caregiver of the offspring In biology, offspring are the young born of living organism, organisms, produced either by a single organism or, in the ...

ancestor
of a
consanguineous Consanguinity ("blood relation", from Latin '':wikt: consanguinitas, consanguinitas'') is the property of being from the same kinship as another person. In that aspect, consanguinity is the quality of being descended from the same ancestor as anot ...
family group of
descendant Descendant(s) or descendent(s) may refer to: * Lineal descendant, a consanguinous (i.e. biological) relative directly related to a person ** Collateral descendant, a relative descended from a brother or sister of an ancestor Books * The Descendant ...
s. Progenitors are sometimes used to describe the status of a genealogical research project, or in order to compare the availability of genealogical data in different times and places. Often, progenitors are implied to be
patrilineal Patrilineality, also known as the male line, the spear side or agnatic kinship, is a common kinship system in which an individual's family membership derives from and is recorded through their father's lineage. It generally involves the inheritance ...
. If a patrilineal
dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press 200px, The Pitt Building in Cambridge, which us ...
is considered, each such dynasty has exactly one progenitor.
Aristocratic Aristocracy ( grc-gre, ἀριστοκρατία , from 'excellent', and , 'rule') is a form of government that places strength in the hands of a small, privileged ruling class, the aristocrats. The term derives from the Greek ''aristokrat ...
and dynastic families often look back to an ancestor who is seen as the founder and progenitor of their house (i.e. family line). Even the old Roman legal concept of
agnate Patrilineality, also known as the male line, the spear side or agnatic kinship, is a common kinship In anthropology, kinship is the web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of all humans in all societies, although ...
s (
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the dominant la ...

Latin
for "descendants") was based on the idea of the unbroken family line of a progenitor, but only includes male members of the family, whilst the women were referred to as "
cognatic Cognatic kinship is a mode of descent calculated from an ancestor An ancestor, also known as a forefather, fore-elder or a forebear, is a parent A parent is a caregiver of the offspring In biology, offspring are the young born of living ...
". It is rarely possible to confirm
biological parenthood A parent is a caregiver of the offspring in their own species. In humans, a parent is the caretaker of a child (where "child" refers to offspring, not necessarily age). A ''biological parent'' is a person whose gamete resulted in a child, a male ...
, however, (see
bastardy Legitimacy, in traditional Western common law, is the status of a child Biologically, a child (plural children) is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedalit ...
) in the case of ancient family lines. In addition, the progenitor is often a distant ancestor, only known as a result of
oral tradition Oral tradition, or oral lore, is a form of human communication Human communication, or anthroposemiotics, is the field dedicated to understanding how human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primate ...
. Where people groups and communities rely solely on a
patrilinear Patrilineality, also known as the male line, the spear side or agnatic kinship, is a common kinship system in which an individual's family membership derives from and is recorded through their father's lineage. It generally involves the inheritance ...
family line, their common ancestor often became the subject of a legend surrounding the origin of the family. By contrast, families and peoples with a
matrilinear Matrilineality is the tracing of kinship In anthropology, kinship is the web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of all humans in all societies, although its exact meanings even within this discipline are often d ...
history trace themselves back to an original female progenitrix. Matrilinear
rules of descent In anthropology, kinship is the web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of all humans in all societies, although its exact meanings even within this discipline are often debated. Anthropologist Robin Fox states tha ...
are found in about 200 of the 1300 known
indigenous people Indigenous peoples, also referred to as first peoples, first nations, aboriginal peoples, native peoples (with these terms often capitalized when referred to relating to specific countries), or autochthonous peoples, are culturally distinct et ...

indigenous people
s and
ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups. Those attributes can include common sets of traditions, ancest ...
s worldwide, whilst around 600 have patrilineal rules of descent (from father to son).J. Patrick Gray: ''Ethnographic Atlas Codebook.'' In: ''World Cultures.'' Vol. 10, No. 1, 1998, pp. 86-136, here p. 104: Table 43 ''Descent: Major Type'' (one of the few assessments of all 1,267 ethnic groups
pdf file; 2.4 MB; without page nos.
): "584 Patrilineal 52 Duolateral 160 Matrilineal 45 Mixed". Th
''Ethnographic Atlas by George P. Murdock''
contains data sets of 1,300 ethnic groups (as at December 2012 a
''InterSciWiki''
), of which often only samples were assessed.
In the
mythological beliefs
mythological beliefs
of the
Romans Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, ...

Romans
the god of war,
Mars Mars is the fourth planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remnant that is massive enough to be Hydrostatic equilibrium, rounded by its own gravity, is not massive enough to ...
, was viewed as the progenitor of the Romans; . which is why the
Mars symbol A planet symbol (or ''planetary symbol'') is a graphical symbol used in astrology Astrology is a pseudoscience that claims to divination, divine information about human affairs and terrestrial events by studying the movements and relative ...

Mars symbol
(
A gender symbol is a pictogram A pictogram, also called a pictogramme, pictograph, or simply picto, and in computer usage an icon An icon (from the Greek language, Greek 'image, resemblance') is a religious work of art, most commonly a pa ...
, a shield and spear), is used to refer to the male sex. Besides cities and countries,
ethnic groups An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups such as a common set of traditions, ancestry, language, history, society, culture, nation ...

ethnic groups
may also have a progenitor (often a god) in their mythologies, for example, the
Hellenistic The Hellenistic period spans the period of Mediterranean history The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, We ...

Hellenistic
Greeks The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éllines'' ) are an and native to the and the regions, namely , , , , , and, to a lesser extent, other countries surrounding the . They also form a significant , with Greek communities esta ...

Greeks
look back to
Hellen In Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of s originally told by the , and a of . These stories concern the and , the lives and activities of , , and , and the origins and significance of the ancient Greeks' own and practices. Mode ...

Hellen
as their progenitor. In Indian
Hinduism Hinduism () is an and ', or way of life. It is the , with over 1.2 billion followers, or 15–16% of the global population, known as . The word ' is an , and while Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world, many practitione ...

Hinduism
''Manu'' is the progenitor of all mankind. In the
Abrahamic religions The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of -originated s that claim descent from the of the ancient and the worship of the . The Abrahamic religions are , with the t ...

Abrahamic religions
,
Adam Adam (; Aramaic: ܐܕܡ; ar, آدَم, ʾĀdam; el, Ἀδάμ, Adám; la, Adam) is a figure in the Book of Genesis of the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew ...

Adam
,
Noah In the traditions of Abrahamic religions The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of -originated s that claim descent from the of the ancient and the worship of t ...

Noah
,
Abraham Abraham, ''Ibrāhīm''; el, Ἀβραάμ, translit=Abraám, name=, group= (originally Abram) is the common patriarch of the , including , , and . In Judaism, he is the founding father of the , the special relationship between the and ; in C ...

Abraham
and others are described as progenitors (see also
Biblical patriarchy Biblical patriarchy, also known as Christian patriarchy, is a patriarchal social system In sociology, social system is the patterned network of relationships constituting a coherent whole that exist between individuals, groups, and institutions ...
). In
archaeogenetics Archaeogenetics is the study of ancient DNA Ancient DNA (aDNA) is DNA The structure of part of a DNA double helix Deoxyribonucleic acid (; DNA) is a molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scanning tunneling microscopy image of ...
(archaeological genetics), a human
Y-chromosomal Adam In human genetics Human genetics is the study of inheritance as it occurs in human beings. Human genetics encompasses a variety of overlapping fields including: classical genetics, cytogenetics, molecular genetics, biochemical genetics, genomi ...
has been named as the
most recent common ancestor In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mechanisms ...
from whom all currently living people are descended patrilinearly. This Adam lived in
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous , after in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of 's total surface area and 20% of its land area.Sayre ...

Africa
at a time variously estimated from 60,000 to 338,000 years ago.


Examples of patrilineal top ancestors


See also

*
Protoplast Protoplasts of the moss '' Physcomitrella patens'' Protoplast, from ancient Greek (''prōtóplastos'', "first-formed"), is a biology, biological term coined by Johannes von Hanstein, Hanstein in 1880 to refer to the entire cell, excluding the ce ...
, progenitors of mankind in a creation story *
Ancestor An ancestor, also known as a forefather, fore-elder or a forebear, is a parent A parent is a caregiver of the offspring In biology, offspring are the young born of living organism, organisms, produced either by a single organism or, in the ...

Ancestor
*
Ahnentafel Seize quartiers coat of arms display document (1786) An ''ahnentafel'' (German language, German for "ancestor table"; ) or ''ahnenreihe'' ("ancestor series"; ) is a genealogical numbering system for listing a person's direct ancestors in a fixed ...

Ahnentafel
*
Legendary progenitor A legendary progenitor is a legendary or mythological figure held to be the common ancestor of a dynasty, people, tribe or ethnic group. Overview Masculinity, femininity and ''"ghenos"'' or Kinship, lineage linked to legendary progenitors were ...
*
Progenitor cell A progenitor cell is a biological cell that, like a stem cell In multicellular organisms, stem cells are undifferentiated or partially differentiated cells that can differentiate into various types of cells and proliferate indefinitely t ...


References

{{Authority control Kinship and descent Genealogy Ancestors